Thu, Aug 30, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Asustek forecasts 15% revenue growth

AIMING HIGH:The company’s goal is to become No. 1 in the global Android market by next year, while adding 1,000 stores in China, and expanding in India and Brazil

By George Liao  /  Staff reporter

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) yesterday forecast its revenue this quarter would grow 15 percent from the second quarter, as the company aims to ship more than 2 million tablet computers this quarter.

For the whole year, tablet shipments are expected to widen to 5 million units from 3 million units, thanks to strong demand for the Nexus 7, a co-branded tablet with Google Inc, Asustek chief executive officer Jerry Shen (沈振來) said.

Shen said the company’s goal is to become the No. 1 in the global Android market.

“There will be only three big brands left in the global Android tablet market, namely Asus, Amazon and Samsung, and I think we have the best chance to become No. 1 as soon as next year,” he told an investors’ conference.

The company reported NT$4.82 billion in net income last quarter, down 4 percent quarter-on-quarter from NT$5.01 billion, but up 34 percent from NT$3.6 billion a year ago. Earnings per share last quarter were NT$6.40.

Revenue rose 4 percent to NT$94.2 billion from NT$90.91 billion in the first quarter, up 31 percent from NT$71.67 billion a year ago.

Gross margin and operating margin last quarter were 14.2 percent and 5.8 percent respectively, compared with 13.9 percent and 5.2 percent in the first quarter, and 14.7 percent and 5.9 percent a year ago.

In the second quarter, Asustek’s mobile PC market share in North America grew by 3.1 percent to 7.1 percent, company data showed.

“Zenbook and Nexus 7 have helped a lot to boost our brand recognition in the US, which in turn helped our sales,” Shen said.

In emerging markets, the company plans to add 1,000 stores this year in China’s fourth, fifth and sixth-tier cities to increase sales of its mobile PCs, while Brazil and India were two markets where Asustek grew from zero last July to more than 10 percent market share, he said.

Notebook PCs remain the biggest source of the company’s revenue, accounting for 61 percent of the total last quarter, while tablets grew 1 percentage point quarter-on-quarter to 8 percent, data showed.

Asustek plans to ship 22 million notebooks this year and actively push Windows 8 Ultrabooks, hoping that Ultrabooks will account for 20 percent of the company’s notebook shipments in the fourth quarter.

“Windows 8 will be a real battlefield and we will see, as soon as October, whether it is a success or a failure,” Shen said.

This quarter, Asustek said it expects to ship 5.8 million motherboards, 4.8 million notebooks and more than 2 million tablets, up 7 percent, 10 percent and 150 percent respectively from the second quarter. Shipments of the Eee PC will remain flat this quarter from last quarter.

Shen said the smartphone market is an area where Asustek will pay extra attention, hoping that one day it will “catch up with Apple, Samsung and HTC.”

“Smartphones are where the company has allocated the most resources, including recruiting the best engineers and salespeople. We also want to make sure we use the newest chips from Qualcomm,” Shen said.

He added that the third-generation PadFone is set to come out in the second quarter of next year.

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